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Trump Holding Campaign Rally Next Weekend Despite Coronavirus in Staff

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Trump Holding Campaign Rally Next Weekend Despite Coronavirus in Staff

2020-07-06 14:49:27

By Laura Tucker, Staff writer; Image: Donald Trump Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle (Image source: Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons)

You can almost smell the desperation in the air in Donald Trump's reelection campaign. Normally, incumbents don't need to work this hard. But last week the campaign was asking for more debates, and now he is moving ahead to another campaign rally despite the dangers of coronavirus and several staff members currently testing positive, including Kimberly Guilfoyle, his son Donald Trump Jr.'s girlfriend.

It seems if Trump were secure in being reelected, he wouldn't be putting lives in danger. Yet, his campaign announced on Sunday it will hold a Make America Great Again rally next Saturday in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The event will be held outdoors at the Portsmouth International Airport.

"We look forward to so many freedom-loving patriots coming to the rally and celebrating America, the greatest country in the history of the world," said Hogan Gidley, campaign spokesman, in a statement.

The event will have "ample access to hand sanitizer," according to the statement, "and all attendees will be provided a face mask that they are strongly encouraged to wear." However, Trump himself has never been seen wearing a mask in public.

During the last official rally that was held June 20 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Trump was only able to fill about a third of his seats, blaming it on concerns of the coronavirus and protesters. Eight members of the campaign staff who were at the event tested positive for COVID-19, along with at least three Secret Service personnel working on the advance team for the rally. Also attending the rally was Herman Cain, a former GOP presidential candidate in 2012. He was hospitalized last week with coronavirus.

There has been a surge in coronavirus in some states that rushed to reopen, including Texas, Florida, Arizona, Tennessee, and North Carolina.

New Hampshire's positive test rate for coronavirus has remained below the threshold of five percent that is recommended by the World Health Organization. Gov. Chris Sununu lifted a 14-day quarantine mandate last Thursday for all visitors from New England states. Yet visitors from other states will need to quarantine. It's unknown how the Trump campaign is getting around that.

However, other candidates are holding off on campaigning because of the virus concerns in Trump's campaign. Rep. Greg Gianforte, the Republican candidate for governor of Montana, is pausing his in-person campaign activities after Guilfoyle attended an event with his wife, Susan Gianforte, and running mate, Kristen Juras.

Juras, Gianforte, and Guilfoyle attended an event on Tuesday together. Guilfoyle tested positive on Friday, leading to her and Trump Jr. pulling out of his father's Mount Rushmore event in South Dakota.

"On Tuesday, Susan Gianforte and Kristen Juras attended an event with Kimberly Guilfoyle, who has tested positive for COVID-19," said Gianforte campaign spokesman Travis Hall in an email to an NBC affiliate.

"Since learning of their potential exposure, Greg, Susan, and Kristen have adhered to recommended guidelines," continued Hall. "Out of an abundance of caution and for the health and safety of others, they will self-quarantine, be tested for COVID-19, and suspend in-person campaign events pending test results." 

It's a strikingly usual situation for one candidate with exposure to two people who were exposed to an infected person to take safety precautions, while the president of the country, who has assumably more direct contact with the infected person and her boyfriend, as well as more than 10 people from the campaign, does not take the same precautions.

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